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Wind & Wire Review of the LIGHT FROM ORION album - page 2


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......The tracks play as one long continuous suite (i.e. there is no break in music between cuts, although the songs themselves have individual characteristics). For example, there is the highly dramatic start to "Great Orion Nebula" (which opens with one thundering wave of crescendoing keyboards after another - think the most powerful part of Demby's Novus Magnificat and you'll know what to expect) and then slowly subsides amidst twinkling starshowers and serene washes to be followed by "Rigel," one of the tracks that showcases Abbott's brilliant glissando guitar, as it's set against a more subdued assortment of chords, washes, and background spacy synth effects. Be forewarned that if you are looking for something "quiet," this album is not it. Maybe some of you will wonder how I can declare an album to be "spacemusic" when the music is, well I guess you could say in some instances, it's "loud." I'd just steer you to Demby's aforementioned Novus Magnificat, Braheny's Galaxies, or Stearns' Planetary Unfolding for evidence that "classic" spacemusic was not always minimal or "quiet." After all, when one gazes up in wonder and awe at the majesty of the universe, it can certainly be a little daunting to say the least. However, Kevin does manage at least one or two songs where things calm down somewhat (e.g. the aptly-titled "Stellar Nursery" which is one of my favorite songs). Starting off quietly, the track does build but in a less powerful way than other songs here. Kendle's use of strings and synth-harp on this song is something special to hear - it's almost transcendent! "Alnilam," for the most part, is also a more subdued track, although it contains stretches that are more majestic than minimal.

While I have written less "detail" about the music on Light From Orion than I usually do in my reviews, I hope I have done an adequate enough job to pique the interest of those of you who enjoy electronic keyboard-based music that is accessible, yet not of a "structured" nature. If you are a Kevin Kendle fan and you liked those last three cuts on Aerial Vistas or the more dramatic music on Clouds, I think you'll almost certainly enjoy this recording. Likewise, fans of the particular releases from the other artists I have mentioned should also check this one out. Obviously, listening to Light From Orion isn't as good as "being there," but until we develop warp drive capabilities, and as long as we have music like this, we can at least envision how we might feel if we cruised in attack ships off the shoulder of Orion (shades of Blade Runner's Roy Batty!). Highly recommended...!"

Review by Bill Binkelman, Wind and Wire


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